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Eleanor Gillespie

Research Director

Eleanor plays a lead role in the development and management of CbI’s special research and due diligence capabilities - particularly the development of local research capacity in the Middle East and Africa - and in the editorial direction of Gulf States News (GSN).

She has been instrumental in the expansion of CbI’s coverage and understanding of the Gulf and its ruling and merchant family elites and has undertaken research into Gulf businesses investing in Africa’s energy industries.

Eleanor grew up in West Africa and the Gulf, and has led CbI’s analysis of political risks in a wide range of countries across Africa and the Middle East, co-ordinating with on the ground sources and liaising with clients.

She has a Masters degree in Middle East Politics from University of London’s School of Oriental and African Studies and read International Relations at Leeds University.

Eleanor’s special interests include

Africa: Eleanor handles much of CbI’s Sub-Saharan Africa research and has a special interest in the murkier end of energy investment in Africa, particularly the use of local middlemen and men of business. She is developing her knowledge of anti-corruption and governance development and writes African Energy’s ‘governance and corruption’ section. She is responsible for developing much of CbI's source network used for due diligence reports.

Saudi Arabia: Eleanor writes about Saudi Arabia for Gulf States News and is the author of an extensive report, totalling 25,000 words, into the Al-Saud ruling family, their political connections and business interests. Eleanor also has a particular interest in the domestic political scene and ruling/merchant families of Qatar and Oman.

GCC: Eleanor’s wider regional research interests include the increasing pressures on resources caused by booming populations, and the complex mechanics of inter-GCC relations – particularly border disputes. She also has a special interest in the business and political relationships that typify Gulf ruling and merchant families.

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